Tag Archives: Taxes

Are Prince William County, Virginia citizens getting a shellgame on proffers and taxes re Stone Haven development?

The PWC Education Blog asks:

If the $24.25 million proposed valuation for Stonehaven is accepted, then the applicant would be able to avoid paying about $14 million in proffers (the difference between the market value of the land and the 2014 proffer level).

StoneHaven is an 882 acre, 1650 home development proposed in the western end of the county (near Jiffy Lube live). As part of the proposed development, the applicant has proffered 91.2 acres of that 882 acres as a site for a high school – something PWCS desperately needs. By law, counties are entitled to receive proffers; land, cash, roads, or a combination of those, as compensation for the cost of constructing facilities for public services, like schools and fire stations, that new development requires.

Read the full story

Prince William County Planning for Stone Haven 

Bristow Beat News reports that 5 BOCS Supervisors got
funds from Stone Haven Developers

Stone Haven Planning Map (2012). Source <a href="http://www.pwcgov.org/government/dept/planning/Documents/Meeting%20Agenda%20and%20Brochure.pdf" target="_blank">PWC Gov</a> (PDF)

Stone Haven Planning Map (2012). Source PWC Gov (PDF)

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Those tax-dodging 47% despised by the GOP are … are mostly GOP Voters. Go figure.

Atlantic Magazine and The Tax Foundation look at who the 47% are, how they vote and … holy cow! This can’t be … must be a statistical mistake … The 47% seem to live in GOP states and heavily vote GOP … and triple holy, holy, holy cow: the states with the lowest membership in the 47% seem to be Democratic-dominated states. WTF?

Reality Check: The chance always exists that the majority of the members of the 47% in the GOP-dominated states are Democrats and not Republican voters — although that would mean that almost every Democrat within the GOP states belongs to the 47%, with maybe a smidgen or two of GOP voters also participating. Logic Flaw: If this logic were true — that mostly only Democrats in Republican states are the 47% — then why do Democratic-heavy states have fewer members of the 47%? The top 10 states with the lowest rates of non-income taxpaying citizens tend to be bastions of Democratic voters and actually have the highest rate of income taxpayers.
Top 10 states where non-taxpayers live

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The Ugly Legacy of Election 2012 … Kid’s Stuff!

As for thinking that 2012 is so dysfunctional, try a bit of history.

The dysfunction was present even before George Washington finished his first term.

Neither Madison nor Jefferson could persuade their own home state to adopt the first 10 amendments to the Constitution — and Madison was their primary author and patron saint. No one cared.

Alexander Hamilton ‘the ultra federalist’ agreed to sell the amendments in exchange for some deals … Washington is what it always was. So while Madison was the Constitution’s primary author, and author of the first 10 Amendments, it is his philosophical rival in every way that got the deal done.

Folks that wistfully wish for the days of yore are seriously on drugs if they believe that things were better.

President Washington started his first term with $75 million in debt and it took succeeding presidents 45 years to pay it off.

There was a rebellion against taxes even then … and Ol’George didn’t hesitate to go shoot em up to prove that DC was DC and rules were to be followed. Unlike today when folks talk about ‘the next time we return our guns will be loaded’, George Washington faced an actual armed military force … and he sent a small army of 13,000 to go put the rebellion down … In the end, Washington got his national sales tax on certain items … and not a cheap tax either: 18 cents per gallon of whiskey.

The election of 1800 was total trash talk (and Jefferson became the semi-official first American anti-Christ) … while Jefferson’s vice president Aaron Burr killed the former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a duel just as Jefferson’s first term ended … Burr was running for governor of New York at the time since Jefferson planned to dump him as his VP.

1832 or 1834 is still considered to be the ugliest campaign year in history … although by the end of the century there were 5 Republican senators that openly declared in favor of the Democratic nominee for president. We now know those Republicans as the Mugwumps.

And let us not forget how former president Theodore Roosevelt bolted the Republican Party to run as a Moose candidate.

What we got in 2012 is pretty damn tame.

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September 8th Republican Presidential Debate Summarized in 45 Seconds

Back to the future: 1980 or 2012?

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Taxes — The Bigger Picture

The following was provided to me by Bill Case, a fellow traveller that insists upon researching and digging deeper into the data … the rest of the story that is seldom ever discussed in the public.

Source for the info below:

If you are calling Federal Income Tax “taxes” then they only make up 27.6% of government revenue. The other 72% is already spread fairly evenly amongst everybody. As for the Federal Income Tax portion of the tax bill:

Total Tax Revenue for all levels of government in 2009: $4,353 Billion

Federal Income tax:

At or Below the Poverty Line (Individual Annual Income less than $16,000)
Number of Returns 11,592,357 10.4%
Taxable Income $37 Billion 0.7%
Tax Generated $3.6 Billion 0.34%

Middle Income (Individual Annual Income more than $16,000 but less than $200,000)
Number of Returns 92,026,036 85.2%
Taxable Income $3,555 Billion 62.9%
Tax Generated $546 Billion 50.5%

Wealthy (Individual Annual Income more than $200,000)
Number of Returns 4,359,936 4%
Taxable Income $2,061 Billion 36.5%
Tax Generated $531 Billion 49.1%

Effective Tax Rate:
Poverty Line: 10%
Middle income: 15%
Wealthy: 26%

Total Federal Income Tax Generated: $1,081 Billion (2010)

Tax Generated by Wealthiest: $531 Billion or 49.1% of Total Federal Taxes and 24% to 27% of total tax revenue.

Total Number of returns for 2010: 108 million.

$4,353 Billion Total Taxes
$1,081 Billion Federal Income Taxes

$3,272 Billion generated by Other taxes (non-Fed Income Tax)
$30,296 of non-Fed Income Tax paid per return.

Effective Taxes per return
Poverty Line: ($30,296+/-)+ 310 = $30,606
Middle income: ($30,296+/-) + 5,934 = $36,230
Wealthy: ($30,296+/-)13,000 + 12,349 = $42,645


Notes by Bill4DogCatcher:

A tax return filing is only required for those that exceed:

Self-employed, any age: $400
Children and Teens classified as a dependent: $5,700
Single, under 65: $9,350
Single, over 65: $10,750
Married, filing jointly, both spouses under 65: $18,700
Married, filing jointly, one spouse over 65: $19,850
Married, filing jointly, both spouses over 65: $20,900
Married, filing separately, any age: $3,650

The current wrapped-around-the-axle argument by both sides:

Left: The rich aren’t paying their fair share. Doesn’t exactly seem to be the case, or anywhere close to it.

Right: The few are carrying the many and all taxes are robbery of the efforts that a person puts into their work. Hardly.

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CBO 2011 Long-Term Budget Outlook – Flatline or Out of Control after 2015?

The nation’s budget outlook is daunting.

Without significant policy changes, an aging population and rising per capita health care costs will lead to surging federal debt, according to Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) latest Long-Term Budget Outlook.

If revenues remain at their historical average share of gross domestic product (GDP), such spending growth would cause federal debt to grow to unsustainable levels.

CBO Charter 2011 Long-term budget outlook

Options – If policymakers are to put the federal government on a sustainable budgetary path:

  • Revenues will need to increase substantially as a percentage of GDP; or
  • Spending will need to decrease significantly from projected levels;
  • there will need to be some combination of those two approaches.

In keeping with CBO’s mandate to provide objective, impartial analysis, its report makes no recommendations.

The CBO however does not talk around what it believes to be some major concerns and/or aspects of our fiscal situation that needs to be taking into consideration.

Some highlights from the report:

  • At the end of 2008, federal debt equaled 40 percent of GDP (a little above the 40-year average of 37 percent). By the end of 2011, debt will reach roughly 70 percent of GDP—the highest percentage since shortly after World War II.
  • The sharp rise in debt is partly from lower tax revenues and higher federal spending related to the recent severe recession—however, growing debt is also due to an imbalance between spending and revenues that predated the recession.
  • The budget outlook for the coming decade and beyond is daunting with the retirement of the baby-boom generation bringing a significant and sustained increase in costs from Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
  • The most positive outlook
    If there is no major changes in law — the Extended-Baseline Scenario — activities such as national defense and a wide variety of domestic programs—would decline to the lowest percentage of GDP since before World War II. Debt would continue to rise however due to the major mandatory health care programs, Social Security, and interest on federal debt. Federal debt held by the public would grow from an estimated 69 percent of GDP in 2011 to 84 percent by 2035.
  • Bleak and Sudden Crisis
    The alternative fiscal scenario incorporates several changes to current law that are widely expected to occur. These include 2001’s tax cuts being extended; the reach of the alternative minimum tax (AMT) restrained to stay close to its historical extent; Medicare’s payment rates for physicians staying at current levels (rather than declining by about a third, as under current law); and tax law changing so that revenues remain near an average of 18 percent of GDP. Under those policies, federal debt would grow much more rapidly than under the extended-baseline scenario. With debt held by the public exceeding 100 percent of GDP by 2021.The real danger in the CBO’s assessment: “… the growing imbalance between revenues and spending, combined with spiraling interest payments, would swiftly push debt to higher and higher levels. Debt as a share of GDP would exceed its historical peak of 109 percent by 2023 and would approach 190 percent in 2035.”

Rising levels of debt also have other negative consequences that are not incorporated in those estimated effects on output:

“Growing debt also would increase the probability of a sudden fiscal crisis, during which investors would lose confidence in the government’s ability to manage its budget and the government would thereby lose its ability to borrow at affordable rates. Such a crisis would confront policymakers with extremely difficult choices. To restore investors’ confidence, policymakers would probably need to enact spending cuts or tax increases more drastic and painful than those that would have been necessary had the adjustments come sooner.”

Read the CBO’s 2011 Long-Term Budget Outlook for yourself.

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Truth in Spending: The Case for a War Tax

A Guest Blog by Aaron Alghawi

Adam Smith, author of The Wealth of Nations, is widely regarded as the father of capitalism, as well as a strong influence on the founding fathers of the United States. He believed in a war tax and once said that the willingness of citizens to be taxed is the greatest test of public support for war. I agree with such a philosophy. In a time of record deficits and debt, everything must be on the table in terms of cuts. But with a sluggish economy, we do need to raise revenues. Some 50% of Americans pay little or no income taxes. This must change. But could we have a more democratic tax system–for semantics I mean one based on political opinion at the individual level?

According to this USA today article,  the FY 2010 cost of our failed nationbuilding in Afghanistan was approximately $105 billion.According to a March 2011 ABC/Washington Post poll, which was quoted in this National Review post by Katrina Trinko:

“Nearly two-thirds of Americans think the war in Afghanistan is not worth fighting, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released today. Sixty-four percent think the war hasn’t been worth it, with 49 percent agreeing strongly.” And only “Thirty-one percent remain convinced that the war was worth fighting.”

For simplicity’s sake, lets just assume 2/3 of Americans oppose the war. If we had a balanced budget amendment and were required to use such a tax to continue operations in Afghanistan the coffers would dry up pretty quick unless it was a significant tax. If the 1/3 or so of Americans that support the Afghan war each donated $1000 extra to the IRS this year, we’d still be a few billion short of the cost necessary to pay. Based on our current population it’d be about $102,915,179,333.33

So, lets up it to $1100 each. That way we’d have a few billion extra to help with making sure the troops were well protected, or to pay off various war debts we have.

I’m against our continued involvement, but if I was rich, I’d make the donation for fiscal sanity’s sake!

I’m guessing not all of these pro-war people are wealthy. Since its 1/3 of Americans, let’s assume a normal distribution meaning a per capita income of around $47,000. That $1100 tax would hit pretty hard at your pocketbook on such an income. My father makes more than that and he feels the difference in such a tax hike or cut.

The Dems want tax hikes, but only on the “rich”. I say instead hike taxes with a fee-for-service concept. If you support the war, you pay an extra $1100 regardless of income. If you don’t want the government to cut your entitlement programs, be prepared to pay more money! Somebody else can do the math on those and then get back to you!

I bet when faced with such tax hikes, that 1/3 of Americans would start to shift toward opposing the war and all those people saying “don’t touch my [insert imperial federal government program here]” would start to reconsider the benefits of those programs vs. the cost. Americans lately seem pretty opposed to the national debt and like to call for cuts, until it touches something that personally affects them. There should be no sacred cows!

You can find Aaron on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TheOnlyAaronAlghawi

Bill4DogCatcher welcomes guest blogs on items of interest to the dogs in our community. Your blog item should be thoughtful and facts should have a basis. Appearance on Bill4DogCatcher.com does not represent an endorsement of either the idea or the content — but obviously I find your thought or thesis interesting or it wouldn’t be appearing. DUE TO COPYRIGHT issues: I really need your permission to publish a specific item on Bill4DogCatcher. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts please send an email to Bill@Bill4DogCatcher.com and send your item or tell me that I have permission to include a specific article from your blog, etc.

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